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Opinion: Sorry purists, time travel in Animal Crossing is too much fun

Animal Crossing: New Horizons has proved record-breakingly popular, but some pedants have got their knickers in a twist at fans employing a lazy little cheat.

Games are meant to be fun, right? That’s why we sometimes skip repetitive side-quests or ignore boring fetch-missions. The moment a game starts to feel like a grind or a drag, it loses some of its magic.

This is why people embrace time travel in Animal Crossing. The game syncs with your real-life Switch calendar, so pushing your date forward will cause all manner of new seasonal critters to appear, buildings to pop up, and fresh-faced villagers to move in.

Related: Animal Crossing: New Horizons review

It’s a way to speed stuff up when the game feels too slow, and you can’t be bothered to wait for Tom Nook to get his act together.

Tragically, some players cannot see the beauty of this innocent little time hop and have labelled anyone who deploys the trick as toxic. This is both wrong and very, very mean.

Time flows pretty slowly in the game. Characters don’t run, they waddle, and there’s a very easy-breezy rhythm to island life – which is fine if you find joy in that kind of thing! But if the game is meant to be about discovering stuff at your own pace, then people are allowed to play at whatever speed they want – even if that pace is out-stripping your own.

Related: Best Switch games 2020

And at the moment, people have a lot of spare time to kill indoors, so it’s understandable if they want a little more from the game. Animal Crossing provides a nice platform for visiting pals when you’re not allowed to see them in person. As time travelling lets you build up money quickly you can come bearing nicer gifts, making those visits a little sweeter.

We’d probably all like to skip ahead about four months in real life right now. So if ever there was a time to let people squeeze a little extra joy from a game, it’s probably this moment.

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